It is confidently expected that this work will prove useful to many English speaking Catholics.
It may be well to state that in the translation the first chapter is entirely new, while the second has been enlarged considerably. The other chapters, however, are practically the same as in the original, and thus the value of the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences is preserved. One or two slight additions have been made, but these are in accordance with the New Raccolta, which is also recognized 8S authentic by the Congregation of Indulgences. In translating the prayers throughout this work the text of the New Raccolta has been used wherever possible.
This little work is offered to the public in the hope that it may be found useful by piously disposed persons. There are many indulgences which these persons could gain very readily, but which are lost through lack of a tabulated statement, a spiritual calendar, I may say, in which these indulgences would be set forth in proper order, together with the conditions which must be fulfilled by those who desire to gain them. It is by supplying this want that I expect this book to prove serviceable.
After careful consideration I decided not to insert partial indulgences, except some which are attached to prayers or devotional exercises which many practise frequently. In acting thus I had two main reasons. In the first place, it was my desire to make the work as brief as possible; and in the second place, there are no special conditions to be fulfilled to gain these indulgences. It is sufficient, generally speaking, to be in the state of grace and to form the intention every morning to gain all the indulgences which the Church has attached to the various good works we may perform during the day.
As regards plenary indulgences, I restricted myself to those which are attached to the most commonly practised devotions. It will be a very simple matter for those who are accustomed to other practices of piety, not so generally known, to insert the indulgences attached thereto in the proper place in this little book. The Church throws wide the doors of its spiritual treasury; and we should not hesitate to use the privileges offered us, both in our own behalf and in behalf of the holy souls in purgatory. Their sufferings are intense, and it is so easy for us to advance the hour of their deliverance!
We should all, therefore, resolve to assist them. Such charity will be certain to meet with a rich reward from Almighty God, and the gratitude of the souls released by our prayers will last forever.
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